Tag: Kristi Harvey

Versatile Eldridge continues to “find her feet”

WITH only a couple of years of Australian football experience under her belt, North Adelaide utiltiy Jorja Eldridge has had plenty of learning to do in a short space of time. The 19-year-old Whyalla native hails from an ever-fabled basketball background, but committed to football last year and eventually cracked a very strong Roosters side in 2020, as a train-on player.

Eldridge played two SANFL Women’s games last year and added the same amount in 2021, while also earning a spot in South Australia’s Under 19 National Championships squad. Having moved down to Adelaide and taken up a part-time receptionist job at the club, she says she is now starting to “find [her] feet”.

“This season I’ve moved to Adelaide and I trained way more with North Adelaide in pre-season and in-season, so that’s helped me a lot,” Eldridge said.

“At the moment I’m studying exercise and sports science at university and I’m currently working as a casual receptionist at North Adelaide Football Club as well, so that’s taking up most of my time on top of football training.”

Having spent plenty of time around the club, Eldridge has also been able to lean on some key mentors and develop her own craft as a player who can impact across multiple positions. The 173cm prospect said she hadn’t “done too badly” once selected for North in Round 4, and in her three Under 19 carnival outings.

Krissie Steen (North Adelaide coach) told me I just need to keep running, so my sprint efforts are most important to improve on,” she said. “I’ve actually had a new position this season which was being a back-up ruck for North Adelaide, rotating forward and on-ball. With that I feel that I’ve had to develop my skills a lot more, going through the midfield and getting it into the forwardline as well.

“My mentor at North Adelaide has definitely (Steen)… she’s basically been my only coach for football so she has definitely helped me along my journey. Kristi Harvey has definitely taken me under her wing and showed me the ropes. Then obviously at a higher level, the likes of Anne Hatchard (are) really good with younger girls and other players, they’re really inspiring.”

A supporter of the Crows’ AFLW team, Eldridge looks towards Hatchard and Melbourne forward Tayla Harris for inspiration on her own game. While there are still areas for improvement, the talented multi-sport athlete has also been able to transfer some handy traits over from other codes.

“A strength of mine is that I’m able to really use my body well,” Eldridge said. “From a basketball and netball perspective, I’ve had to grow up with the one-on-one body contact and finding the player. I do struggle sometimes with finding my player in defence because I like to zone off and intercept the ball, but then coming to football it’s a bit harder to do that.

“Around the ground stoppages and in the ruck are definitely my strengths (too), and I’ve got pretty good distance on my kick.”

With the AFLW currently holding expansion talks, more and more South Australian prospects like Eldridge are well poised to get the chance to showcase their development at the highest level in years to come.

2021 SANFLW team review: North Adelaide

IN summarising the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout performers throughout the clubs were. The next team in the firing line is North Adelaide.

Position: 5th
Wins: 5
Losses: 5
Draws: 1
Points For: 263 (7th)
Points Against: 290 (3rd)

Season in a Sentence: “The reigning premiers lost a lot of talent to AFL Women’s, so were able to blood some fresh players and stand up defensively, but ultimately fell short of trying to defend their title in the post-season series.”

TOP PERFORMERS:

Kristi Harvey

The reliable full-back and rebounder had an outstanding season once again, playing all 11 games for the Roosters and being a rock solid option in the back 50. She pushed up the ground when required, but it was her strong overhead mark, intercepting ability and powerful kick that stood out. Using the ball at a terrific 80 per cent, Harvey averaged 12.1 disposals, 3.1 marks, 2.7 tackles and 4.2 rebound 50s for the season, earning Team of the Year honours for her efforts.

Jaimi Tabb

Looking to force her way back onto an AFLW list, the hard-nosed inside midfielder showed she could play in multiple positions around the ground. Spending tim up forward and on the outside, Tabb still cracked in to average a ridiculous 8.2 tackles with her 11.8 disposals. She had 2.1 clearances and 2.5 inside 50s, and booted five goals in her 11 games, showing she was a key player at state league level. She also made the Draft Central Team of the Year for her work.

Erica Greet

Providing run on the wing and stepping up for the most part in the absence of the drafted Katelyn Pope, Greet earned SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours for her season. She averaged the 13.0 disposals, 2.3 marks, 2.0 tackles and 2.2 inside 50s, often using the ball in transition to move it quickly going forward. She was a link in the chain and a player her teammates could rely upon to keep her side in possession.

Amelie Borg

The bottom-age tall talent was able to play in a key defensive role and lockdown on opposition dangerous forwards in 2021. A member of the State Academy, Borg even had a crack in the ruck for extended periods of time against West Adelaide in Round 3. She was not a huge ball-winner, but averaged the 8.1 disposals, 1.2 marks, 1.8 tackles and 1.3 rebound 50s, with her ability to nullify opponents her key strength. Aside from Lauren Young and Shineah Goody, Borg was the next youngest SANFL Women’s Team of the Year representative.

OTHERS:

North Adelaide had plenty of impressive contributors throughout the season, and whilst Lauren Daniel only played the four games, she was still impressive in most, whilst Talia Radan, Leah Tynan, Brianna Arthur and Kathryn Reynolds provided the experience. Kate Case, Julia Clark and Jorja Eldridge were other State Academy members who were able to play their fair share of football, whilst had it not been for an ankle injury, no doubt teenage talent Hannah Ewings could have had a big say on proceedings this year.

Picture credit: Deb Curtis / SANFL

2021 Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year

DRAFT Central’s 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Team of the Year is in, with the 24 players and three emergencies selected from the initial 44-player squad. A total of 20 players had four or more Team of the Week nominations that were eligible under the five-game minimum criteria, with an additional four players included that had three nominations.

It is somewhat fitting that the three remaining teams in the title race for the 2021 SANFL Women’s premiership have the equal most representatives with four players apiece. Norwood, Glenelg and West Adelaide all have a quartet of representatives, while losing finalists South Adelaide and fifth placed North Adelaide have three players each. The bottom three sides, Central District, Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens finish with two representatives apiece.

The 2021 Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year sees two co-captains and a vice-captain named after the trio of players had eight Team of the Week nominations. Glenelg’s Jess Bates and North Adelaide’s Kristi Harvey were named on the wing and full-back respectively, and share the captaincy duties, while West Adelaide teenager Lauren Young‘s sensational year has seen her earn the vice-captaincy role slotting onto the other wing.

The midfield is stacked with some high-nominated talents, with Norwood ruck Leah Cutting (seven) palming it down to the likes of South Adelaide’s Nicole Campbell (seven) Central District captain Shelby Smith (six) and Sturt’s Isobel Kuiper (five) in a hardened inside midfield group. Joining Harvey on the last line are South Adelaide’s Jaslynne Smith and Woodville-West Torrens’ Kiana Lee, while experienced Norwood utility Sophie Armitstead has been named at half-back, with youngster Brooke Tonon on the other back flank.

Up forward, it is a mix of youth and experience with Adelaide Crows’ listed players and West Adelaide’s Chelsea Biddell and Ailish Considine at half-forward. Joining them is Glenelg’s Ellie Kellock, whilst Central District’s Chantel Reynolds earned the full-forward spot. Either side of her are a couple of teenagers in Norwood’s Jade Halfpenny and Woodville-West Torrens’ Shineah Goody, making it an exciting and dynamic forward line.

Looking to the bench, a couple of North Adelaide midfielders in Jaimi Tabb and Lauren Daniel are among those earning spots in the squad, with Montana McKinnon the backup ruck to Cutting. Glenelg onballer Tessa Kohn is also on the interchange, with Norwood mid/forward Jess Macolino rounding out the team. In terms of emergencies, State Academy members Zoe Prowse and Zoe Venning both make the additional three-player spots, with Central District’s Caitlen Teague also rewarded for a fine season.

2021 DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE YEAR:

B: Jaslynne Smith (SA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) (c) – Kiana Lee (WWT)
HB: Sophie Armitstead (NW) – Sharnie Whiting (WA) – Brooke Tonon (GL)
C: Jess Bates (GL) (c) – Shelby Smith (CD) – Lauren Young (WA) (vc)
HF: Ailish Considine (WA) – Chelsea Biddell (WA) – Ellie Kellock (GL)
F: Shineah Goody (WWT) – Chantel Reynolds (CD) – Jade Halfpenny (NW)
R: Leah Cutting (NW) – Nicole Campbell (SA) – Isobel Kuiper (ST)
INT: Lauren Daniel (NA) – Tessa Kohn (GL) – Jess Macolino (NW) – Montana McKinnon (SA) – Jaimi Tabb (NA) – Jaimee Wittervan (ST)

EMG: Zoe Prowse (ST) – Caitlen Teague (CD) – Zoe Venning (WA)

2021 Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year squad

NORWOOD’S sensational South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season has resulted in the Redlegs recording the most nominations in the 2021 Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. The 44-player squad features at least five players from each side in an even spread across the league, with Norwood (seven), and Central District and South Adelaide (both six) the teams to record more than five.

The 2021 Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year is based off Team of the Week nominations, with the only caveat being a minimum of five games to ensure each member played the equivalent of half a season rather than the AFL Women’s talent making it off a few matches. Due to this, the only player ineligible who made the cut with four Team of the Week nominations from those four games was Central District’s Chloe Scheer, but her efforts still deserve a mention.

Of all the AFL Women’s-listed players, Katelyn Pope is the only one who made the squad having strung together games in the back half of the season with five consecutive matches for three Team of the Week nominations. Of the other AFL Women’s-listed talents, Montana McKinnon, Ailish Considine, Chelsea Biddell and Renee Forth all played a majority of the season at state league level.

From the elite level players to the State Academy talents, six Under 19s state representatives made the team. West Adelaide’s Lauren Young and Glenelg’s Brooke Tonon combined for 14 Team of the Week nominations, whilst Norwood’s Jade Halfpenny, Sturt’s Zoe Prowse, West Adelaide’s Zoe Venning and Central District’s Lauren Breguet also made the squad with between two and four nominations each.

Young was one of three players – with Glenelg’s Jessica Bates and North Adelaide’s Kristi Harvey – to collect a record eight Team of the Week nominations – made all the more remarkable by the fact she missed games due to the AFL Women’s Under 19s Championships. Norwood’s Leah Cutting and Central District’s Shelby Smith were the other players to record at least six Team of the Week nominations.

Following the announcement of the Team of the Year squad, Draft Central will have the tough decision of cutting down to just 24 players in what will be the official 2021 Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. The Team of the Year will be announced Monday night.

2021 DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE YEAR SQUAD:

Central District [6]: Lauren Breguet, Chantel Reynolds, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Shelby Smith, Isabelle Starmer, Caitlen Teague.
Glenelg [5]: Jessica Bates, Sam Franson, Ellie Kellock, Tessa Kohn, Brooke Tonon.
North Adelaide [5]: Lauren Daniel, Kristi Harvey, Katelyn Pope, Talia Radan, Jaimi Tabb.
Norwood [7]: Sophie Armitstead, Leah Cutting, Alison Ferrall, Elisha Gallagher, Jade Halfpenny, Morgan Johnston, Jess Macolino.
South Adelaide [6]: Nicole Campbell, Czenya Cavouras, Montana McKinnon, Jaslynne Smith, Brianna Wedding, Lisa Whiteley.
Sturt [5]: Alisha Gepp, Jess Good, Isobel Kuiper, Zoe Prowse, Jaimee Wittervan.
West Adelaide [5]: Chelsea Biddell, Ailish Considine, Zoe Venning, Sharnie Whiting, Lauren Young.
WWT Eagles [5]: Anastasia Falkenberg, Renee Forth, Shineah Goody, Kiana Lee, Jovanka Zecevic.

SANFL Women’s Round 11 wrap: West grabs finals spot with one-point win

WEST Adelaide has won a nail-biter against South Adelaide in the final round of the regular South Australian National Football League (SANFL) season, as top two sides Norwood and Glenelg both posted victories, and North Adelaide won to give itself a finals chance, only for the Bloods’ result to effectively negate that win.

NORWOOD 2.3 | 6.6 | 9.6 | 11.7 (73)
WWT EAGLES 0.0 | 0.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

Norwood: R. Zerella 3, E. Sporn 3, N. Allen, E. Drake, S. Branford
Eagles: J. Zecevic, M. Fiegert.

DC BEST:

Norwood: J. Macolino, L. Cutting, S. Armitstead, N. Allen, L. Schwerdt
Eagles: K. Lee, A. Blanden, M. Fiegert, N. Collie, A. Falkenberg

Booting the first six goals of the game, and nine of 11 by three quarter time, minor premiers Norwood never looked like losing against Woodville-West Torrens Eagles. Aside from a burst of two out of three goals early in the third term for the visitors, the Eagles had to accept the 2021 wooden spoon as the Redlegs piled on 18 scoring shots to four, booting the final four goals of the game as well to win by 59 points.

Rosette Zerella and Erika Sporn both booted three goals in the win, whilst it was the midfield of the Redlegs that really stood up. Leah Cutting had 36 hitouts to go with 11 disposals and six tackles, while Najwa Allen (19 disposals, five marks, four tackles, four inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal), Sophie Armitstead (16 disposals, four tackles, two clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s), Jess Macolino (13 disposals, three marks, five tackles, three clearances and seven inside 50s) and Lana Schwerdt (11disposals, five tackles, four clearances and three inside 50s) all stood out.

Kiana Lee was outstanding in defence for the Eagles, racking up 18 disposals, nine marks – two contested – six rebound 50s, five hitouts, two tackles and two clearances. Teaming up with her back there was Nicole Collie (13 disposals, five marks, three tackles and four rebound 50s), while Amie Blanden (15 disposals, two marks, four tackles, nine hitouts, six clearances and four inside 50s), Marlie Fiegert (14 disposals, two marks, four tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s and a goal) and Anastasia Falkenberg (16 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s).

Norwood now takes on Glenelg in the semi-finals for a spot in the 2021 SANFL Women’s Grand Final, as the Eagles’ season comes to an end.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 5.3 (33)
WEST ADELAIDE 1.2 | 2.4 | 5.4 | 5.4 (34)

GOALS:

South: J. Hooper 2, J. Hickey, J. Kirk, G. Schirmer.
West: M. Elsegood, C. Biddell, L. Young, I. Loftes.

DC BEST:

South: N. Campbell, T. Charlton, M. McKinnon, G. Schirmer, T. Meyer
West: L. Young, A. Considine, S. Whiting, Z. Venning, A. Ballard

In the most thrilling match of the weekend, the third against fourth contest lived up to its billing, as West Adelaide held on against a fast-finishing South Adelaide outfit. The teams were fairly even as early as the third term, before West piled on three goals in seven minutes to race out to a 21-point lead at the final break. Looking home and hosed, the Bloods could not manage to score in the final term, as they watch South boot the last three majors of the contest, only to fall a point short, 5.4 (34) to 5.3 (33).

West’s youth stood up in the win, as Lauren Young had a game-high 22 touches to go with four marks – two contested – eight tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and a goal. Fellow State Academy members Zoe Venning (18 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Abbie Ballard (11 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances and two rebound 50s) both impressed, while the experience of Ailish Considine (19 disposals, two marks, four tackles, six clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Sharnie Whiting (15 disposals, four marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and six rebound 50s) stood out.

For South, Nicole Campbell (21 disposals, nine marks – two contested – three tackles, five clearances and six inside 50s) was outstanding alongside Teah Charlton (21 disposals, three marks, five tackles, four clearances and six inside 50s). Tahlia Meyer (15 disposals, two marks and four tackles) and Gypsy Schirmer (15 disposals, four tackles and a goal) both found plenty of the ball, while Montana McKinnon (14 disposals, 27 hitouts, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) was strong.

These two sides lock horns again next weekend in a do-or-die semi-final that promises to go down to the wire, with the Bloods securing the home ground advantage with this win.

STURT 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.4 (22)
NORTH ADELAIDE 1.2 | 4.2 | 4.4 | 7.5 (47)

GOALS:

Sturt: Z. Prowse, K. Harris, A. Ladas.
North: A. Woodland 6, T. Thorn.

DC BEST:

Sturt: K. Mueller, J. Good, I. Kuiper, J. Wittervan, Z. Prowse
North: A. Woodland, J. Tabb, T. Gordon, B. Arthure, K. Harvey

Despite the West Adelaide result meaning North Adelaide missed out on a chance to defend its title in the final series, a six-goal performance from Ashleigh Woodland ensured the reigning premiers ended their season on a high note. The teams were even in the first term, before three consecutive goals to Woodland in the second broke the game open. Sturt continued to press and move to within seven points at the final break – and as low as six points early in the fourth, for Woodland to stand up again, and along with Tayla Thorn kick the last three goals of the game to win by 25 points.

Along with six majors, Woodland had the 13 disposals, four marks – one contested – and three tackles, while Thorn finished with 10 disposals, two hitouts, four inside 50s and a goal. Through the middle and forward half, Tayla Gordon (18 disposals, three marks, three clearances, two tackles and two inside 50s), Jaimi Tabb (12 disposals, 12 tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Kristi Harvey (10 disposals, four marks – two contested – four tackles and four inside 50s) were all lively.

For the Double Blues, Kiera Mueller was again the standout for the second week in a row, picking up 17 disposals, eight marks, eight rebound 50s and four tackles coming out of defence. Jess Good (14 disposals, four marks, 42 hitouts, four clearances and three inside 50s) dominated the ruck, as the midfield of Jaimee Wittervan (15 disposals, two marks, six clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s), Isobel Kuiper (21 disposals, two marks, six tackles and four clearances) and Zoe Prowse (nine disposals, two marks, five tackles, seven hitouts, five clearances and one goal) went to work.

Both these teams end their 2021 campaigns and will head back to their local clubs before a big preseason looking towards 2022.

GLENELG 2.1 | 3.2 | 5.3 | 6.4 (40)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.0 | 2.2 | 2.4 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

Glenelg: C. Gould 2, M. Green 2, C. Swanson, E. Marinoff.
Central: K. Rosenzweig 2, C. Scheer, N. Biagi.

DC BEST:

Glenelg: E. Marinoff, C. Gould, J. Bates, B. Tonon, E. Kellock
Central: C. Scheer, S. Smith. K. Rosenzweig, L. Smith, L. Breguet

Whilst the result mattered little to Glenelg in terms of ladder positioning – the Bays had already secured second spot heading into the round – the home team still came away with a morale-boosting victory over Central District. After Chloe Scheer slotted the first major for the Bulldogs inside the first two minutes, the Bays booted five of the next six goals to lead by as much as 18 points. Katelyn Rosenzweig kicked back-to-back goals in the final term to cut the deficit to within a single kick before a last minute major to Caitlin Gould saved the day and handed Glenelg the win.

Ebony Marinoff led the way again with 24 disposals, five marks – three contested, five clearances, five inside 50s and a goal, while Gould slotted two majors from 18 touches, six marks, 23 hitouts, three clearances and three rebound 50s. Jessica Bates (18 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four clearances, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Ellie Kellock (13 disposals, three tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) were both impressive in midfield, while Brooke Tonon (15 disposals, two marks, three tackles and five rebound 50s) impressed again for Glenelg.

The forward combination of Rosenzweig (12 disposals, three marks, six hitouts, three clearances, three inside 50s and two goals) and Scheer (18 disposals, three marks – two contested – six tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and a goal) were both dangerous, while captain Shelby Smith (12 disposals, 11 tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds 50s), Lauren Smith (nine disposals, two tackles and three rebound 50s) and Lauren Breguet (10 disposals, two marks and three tackles) were among a group of even contributors for the Dogs.

Glenelg now takes on Norwood in a top of the table clash for a spot in the 2021 SANFL Women’s Grand Final, as the Bulldogs impressive season comes to a close.

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 11 preview: Final chance for Bloods, Roosters and Bulldogs to grab finals spot

THREE teams will fight it out for the last finals spot in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition as West Adelaide holds fourth position at this stage, but both North Adelaide and Central District could take it with either side winning and the other results going their way in Round 11.

NORWOOD vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS
Saturday, May 15 @ 11:00am
ACH Group Stadium

Norwood and Woodville-West Torrens are at opposite ends of the table and will open the round without a great deal of ladder permutations. North Adelaide are expected to take care of Sturt, which allows the Eagles a chance at avoiding the wooden spoon for the second consecutive year. They will need to step up from last week’s heavy loss to Glenelg, whilst the Redlegs have proven to be the benchmark team this season. They do not have anything other than form and momentum to play for heading into the last round, having already secured top spot and the minor premiership. Youngsters Lana Schwerdt and Sarah Branford have replaced Sachi Syme and Ella Murison in Norwood’s 22, whilst the Eagles have been forced to make at least three chances with Adelaide AFLW talent Renee Forth, and Lakeesha Pickett both unavailable, and Panagiota Pipinis missing due to a shin injury, Alicia McNeill could be in line for a debut in the final round, named in the side amongst five inclusions, which features Georgia Taylor and Audrey Holt. The Eagles will need to try and quell Norwood’s dominant midfield, with the likes of Sophie Armitstead, Jade Halfpenny, Jess Macolino and Elisha Gallagher among the names that roll through there. With Leah Cutting likely to have a field day given her form and size advantage over Amie Blanden, the Eagles will hope to use Blanden like another midfielder at ground level, with Jaida Tabb and Shineah Goody named onball showing the future of the side, whilst Jamie Parish and Charlotte Dolan have also been in impressive form for the visitors.

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 15 @ 12:30pm
Flinders University Stadium

In the match of the weekend, third placed South Adelaide hosts West Adelaide in a battle where the result will either mean they likely face off again in the first week of finals, or the Panthers have a grand final rematch with North Adelaide. South Adelaide has secured its 2021 SANFL Women’s finals spot thanks to a win last week, with the Panthers’ percentage too great for the Roosters to chase down. South Adelaide would slip to fourth if the Bloods get up in this contest, but a win would see them hosting an elimination final. If they win, and North Adelaide lose then it opens the door for Central District to upset Glenelg and book its first finals spot, but the Dogs loom as outsiders at this point. In terms of the team chances, AFL Women’s talent Hannah Munyard misses out this week, with St Kilda’s Tahlia Meyer returning to the side along with State Academy member Sarah Wright, and Caitlin Ross. West Adelaide has some crucial inclusions as well, with State Academy member Keeley Kustermann returning from injury sustained at the championships, coming into the side with the likes of Louella McCarthy and Georgie Gray for an extended team. Charlie Scutchings was injured early last week and is out of the side, with Georgie Pater also the other confirmed out. South has earned the right to be favourite in this game, with the form of AFL Women’s returnees Teah Charlton and Jordann Hickey, along with Montana McKinnon and Lisa Whiteley. Add in the continued development of teenagers Gypsy Schirmer, Tahlita Buethke and Jorja Hooper, and consistency of Nicole Campbell, and the Panthers have the complete squad. West has plenty of talent itself, with the AFL Women’s contingent of Ailish Considine, Sarah Dargan and Chelsea Biddell leading the way. Lauren Young continues to have an outstanding debut season for the Bloods, with Zoe Venning and Kustermann other youngsters who can have a huge impact on the match, and Sharni Whiting being the brick wall in defence.

STURT vs. NORTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 15 @ 12:45pm
Unley Oval

Whilst Sturt cannot secure a finals spot this year, the Double Blues can certainly play party pooper to a North Adelaide team which needs a win to retake fourth position on the table. The Double Blues have proved they are more than capable of kicking a big score this season, though will be tested against the most experienced defence in the league. The Roosters missed an opportunity to lock up fourth place last week, and now will be at the mercy of South Adelaide if they are to book a finals spot. They need the Panthers to beat West Adelaide, and then knock off Sturt on the road in order to leap up to fourth on the table. A loss automatically knocks them out of the running, and an upset win to Central District would see the reigning premiers slip to sixth on the table as well. Sturt have recalled three players for the clash, with dangerous forward Nicole Baker named as an in alongside Millie McCarthy and Lucy Griffith, while Abby Pengelly is the sole out at this stage. Unfortunately for the Roosters, they have had to make a couple of forced changes due to injury. Julia Clark suffered concussion in the second term of the Roosters’ loss last weekend and will miss this game, as will Jaime Norup who injured her shoulder in the same match. Coming into the side are a couple of bookends in Kelly Barltrop and Talia Radan who are important talls, whilst another State Academy member in Kate Case comes into the side after missing last week. North Adelaide should get up in this game given the Roosters have a defence that not only features Radan, but Amber Ward and Kristi Harvey are intercept machines, and the talent and run of Poppy Waterford, with the tough Jaimi Tabb and Amelie Borg. Lauren Gauci has also been a crucial inclusion to the side, whilst Ashleigh Woodland remains a difficult player to quell up forward. For the Double Blues, the midfield could try and match it with the Roosters, with Alisha Gepp, Jaimee Wittervan and Isobel Kuiper roving to Jess Good who are all in good form. Zoe Prowse has managed to get up for this game, and will rejoin fellow State Academy members Alex Ballard and Georgia Swan inside 50, while Kiera Mueller was superb off half-back last week.

GLENELG vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, May 15 @ 12:45pm
ACH Group Stadium

The final game of the round pits second placed Glenelg up against a Central District side needing a lot of luck to secure a finals berth. The Bulldogs could grab fourth, but not only need to win, but need South Adelaide to beat West Adelaide – certainly possible – but also Sturt to upset North Adelaide – a lot less likely – in order to be playing next week. Madison Lane was stretchered off last week and will miss this game, with the likes of Chantel Reynolds, Paige Allan, Nicola Biagi and Taryn Wills named in an extended Central team. Shae Partington and Airlie Schirmer are out of the Bays’ side, and into it come Molly Affolter, Lucy Armitage and Sarah Goodwin among five chances to the side. The Bulldogs can beat anyone on their day, and with Isabelle Starmer having a good season in the ruck, and the likes of captain Shelby Smith, Caitlen Teague and Chloe Scheer impressing through the midfield, they have the core for an upset. Laitiah Huynh and Lauren Breguet are exciting young forwards, whilst Katelyn Rosenzweig with Reynolds form a great duo inside 50. The Bays have proven to hold the strongest clearance side in the business, with Ebony Marinoff returning last week with a best on ground performance, and she teamed up well with the likes of Tessa Kohn, Ellie Kellock and Jessica Bates. Brooke Tonon was superb off half-back, with Caitlin Gould and Sam Franson dangerous forwards. Overall the Glenelg side has quite strong depth, though the direct and exciting play of the Bulldogs always gives them a shot at the win.

Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton

2021 SANFL Women’s preview: Round 10 – Ladder-defining round of action

IT might not be finals time just yet, but if the top four sides can topple the bottom four sides this weekend in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s action, then it will seal up the finals spots ahead of the last round.

NORWOOD vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Friday, May 7 @ 7:00pm
Coopers Stadium

Coming off their first loss in eight weeks, Norwood will be hungry to get back to business against Central District who did pretty well last week against a strong West Adelaide side, but it was not enough to come away with the points. Unlike the other three sides in the bottom four, the Bulldogs do have a superior percentage to those teams just inside the four – and both above have one draw – meaning an upset win, and a loss to either South Adelaide or North Adelaide this week will hand Central District a top four spot heading into the last week. Norwood is looking pretty good to secure top spot on the table, sitting one-and-a-half games clear of Glenelg, with just one win needed to secure the minor premiership. The likes of Alicia Butler and Ella Mickan will return to the Bulldogs outfit on an extended bench, while the Redlegs have brought back vital ruck, Leah Cutting, and in-form Ella Murison. Youngsters Sarah Branford and Lana Schwerdt are amongst the outs for this game, but the Redlegs are looking very strong. Isabelle Starmer has put together some great form through the ruck and will enjoy a battle with Cutting and possibly youngster Jade Halfpenny who has been named there. Bulldogs captain Shelby Smith and Adelaide AFLW midfielder Najwa Allen could go head-to-head in the midfield, whilst the Norwood defence will need to find a way of slowing down key forward duo Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds. Sophie Armitstead could be the player to try and quell the red-hot Chloe Scheer, whilst State Academy members Alana Lishmund and Madison Lane could go head-to-head in this clash. Norwood should be too strong, but the Bulldogs have the capacity and talent to beat anyone on their day if they take their chances.

WWT EAGLES vs. GLENELG
Saturday, May 8 @ 10:10am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Whilst finals seems a stretch for the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles – the results needed to occur are near impossible – they can still play the role of party pooper to finals-bound sides, whilst trying to jump off the bottom of the table. The Eagles strung three consecutive wins together this season, but with the return of AFL Women’s talents, they have been more inexperienced, but providing games to great future talents. For Round 9, the Eagles have lost Jessica Evans to concussion, but regain Renee Forth to bolster that minimal AFL Women’s talent. Their opponents Glenelg are not mucking around though, with Ebony Marinoff pulling on the black and gold for the first time this season, returning to the Bays’ outfit with Molly Affolter, Lucy Armitage and Caitlyn Swanson among others for an extended bench after multiple players have dropped out due to illness. Marinoff joins an already strong midfield of Ellie Kellock, Jessica Bates, Tessa Kohn and Brooke Tonon who are all in great form, and Caitlin Gould is a crucial player up forward or through the ruck. The Eagles have so much developing talent that will benefit from the experience against AFLW-listed players with Shineah Goody, Jamie Parish and Charlotte Dolan just a few of them. The reliable combination of Anastasia Falkenberg and Jovanka Zecevic will always stand up in big moments, and they will need to be key players in this game if the Eagles are to cause a massive boilover. The Bays also need to win this to keep touch with Norwood at the top of the table, and fend off last year’s grand finalists in North Adelaide and South Adelaide. It is hard to see the Bays losing this given their side on paper, but this has been one heck of a season for upsets.

STURT vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 8 @ 11:00am
Prospect Oval

South Adelaide can go a long way to securing a finals spot with a win over a Sturt team that just refuses to go away in the SANFL Women’s competition. Just when you think the Double Blues are out of the running, they produce a massive performance like they did against the Eagles last week to just remain in contention. A loss here would cut the chord on any finals hopes if North Adelaide get up as well, but a win, and the Double Blues could be in the top four given their percentage is higher than the two sides in there, and they take on the fourth placed Panthers. Captain Maya Rigter will miss with a foot injury, Alysha Healy is out with a shoulder injury and Lane Trenorden suffered a knee injury. They welcome back Tiah Hough, Nicole Baker and Ally Ladas to an extended bench as they try and plot South Adelaide’s downfall. The Panthers are coming off a great win over Norwood, and with their team at full strength, it showed just how good this side could be. Madison Bennett is the sole exclusion from the team, with young key forward Jorja Hooper, and defender Lucy Northcott among the inclusions. Jaslynne Smith will run out for her 50th game this weekend, and will be a key part of that Panthers backline with Lisa Whiteley and Brianna Wedding who have put together strong performances. The Sturt forward line of young talent seems to be ticking over nicely, with Alex Ballard slotting three goals last week, and with Zoe Prowse providing the height, and Chloe Forby and Georgia Swan among the developing talents in there, the Double Blues have enough firepower down there. The Sturt midfield of Alisha Gepp, Jaimee Wittervan and Isobel Kuiper will get its greatest test this weekend with Teah Charlton, Nicole Campbell and Tahlita Buethke all in ripping form and could be the deciding factor. The Panthers should get up based on their lineup, but the Double Blues will not make it easy for them.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 8 @ 12:45pm
Prospect Oval

The final game of the round, and the second of a double-header at Prospect Oval sees the Roosters host West Adelaide in a massive clash. The Roosters tentatively sit in third spot, and thanks to their higher percentage compared to South Adelaide, have some sort of a buffer, but they could lose that with West and one of Central District or Sturt getting up. The Westies need to win to keep touch with the top four and frankly their side is too good not to play finals, but the Roosters also have such a consistent lineup it is hard to imagine them not competing at the pointy end. North has just brought in a potential debutant in Monika Ney to an extended bench, with not too much needing changed for the reigning premiers. Despite Marinoff coming back for Glenelg, the Roosters have not unleashed Anne Hatchard yet, with the team having a strong enough team on its own with Leah Tynan, Brianna Arthur and Erica Greet rolling through the midfield. Youngsters Kate Case and Julia Clark are versatile enough to slot in anywhere, whilst the defence of Kristi Harvey, Amber Ward and Talia Radan is just ridiculously strong. Amelie Borg can be utilised as a more athletic tall, whilst Jaimi Tabb has the freedom to play inside or out, add in Lauren Gauci who returned in style to the competition, and Ash Woodland up front, and the Roosters have so much past and present AFLW talent. West Adelaide has plenty of talent itself, as one of the most exciting young sides. Sarah Dargan, Ailish Considine and talented junior Lauren Young form a massive midfield trio, while Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are reliable targets to hit up forward. The talls are surrounded by young talent in Zoe Venning, Abbie Ballard and Charlie Scutchings, while Imogen Loftes was one of four players to return, and slots straight onto a wing. Sharni Whiting has been strong overhead in defence for the Westies this season, while Madi Russell and Taylah Jayne have also served as strong interceptors and rebounders. This is a 50/50 game with North Adelaide having an incredibly experienced defence, but there is something about West Adelaide that could see the Bloods grab the win and make the final week interesting.

Picture credit: SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 9

THREE of the four South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s winners from Round 9 have a round-high four representatives in the Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Week this week. South Adelaide, Sturt and West Adelaide all picked up wins, as well as a quartet of players in the Team of the Week, while the other winner Glenelg, as well as narrow losers North Adelaide had three players each. Norwood, Central District and Woodville-West Torrens managed the two players apiece this week.

This week’s captain is Teah Charlton, who returned to the SANFL Women’s with a bang in Round 9 as the standout player for the weekend. The South Adelaide young star is joined in the side by teammates, defenders Jaslynne Smith and Lisa Whiteley, as well as midfielder Nicole Campbell. They knocked off Norwood who had the two players in the team this week, with the top of the table side contributing Erika Sporn and Ashlee Gould.

Sturt’s big win over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles resulted in four players making it into the side, starting with Alex Ballard and Zoe Prowse inside 50 as some State Academy member representation, while Jaimee Wittervan (rover) and Isobel Kuiper (interchange) also made the 24-player squad. The Eagles had the two representatives, with Sophie Zuill and Jamie Parish both slotting into the team this round.

West Adelaide got the job done over Central District and managed the four players in the side for Round 9. Young gun Lauren Young made it in alongside AFL Women’s experienced talent in Crows, Ailish Considine and Chelsea Biddell, and Tiger, Sarah Dargan. The Bulldogs contributed the two players for this week, with Shannon Murphy named off half-back for her impressive seven rebounds holding up the front, while Chloe Scheer shone again and earned a place on the bench.

The final game saw Glenelg hold off North Adelaide with both sides having three players in the side this week. Glenelg’s Jessica Bates was named vice-captain of the hypothetical side, leading the way in a Bays’ based midfield which also featured ruck Caitlin Gould, and inside midfielder Tessa Kohn. The Roosters were again represented in defence by Kristi Harvey, named alongside Lauren Gauci, with Katelyn Pope up forward. The three emergencies for Round 9 were Norwood’s Najwa Allen, South Adelaide’s Tahlita Buethke and Woodville-West Torrens’ Anastasia Falkenberg.

DRAFT CENTRAL SANFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 9

B: Jaslynne Smith (SA) – Kristi Harvey (NA) – Lauren Gauci (NA)
HB: Lisa Whiteley (SA) – Jamie Parish (WWT) – Shannon Murphy (CD)
C: Lauren Young (WA) – Tessa Kohn (GL) – Sophie Zuill (WWT)
HF: Ailish Considine (WA) – Chelsea Biddell (WA) – Teah Charlton (SA) (c)
F: Erika Sporn (NW) – Alex Ballard (ST) – Zoe Prowse (ST)
R: Caitlin Gould (GL) – Jessica Bates (GL) (vc) – Jaimee Wittervan (ST)
INT:  Nicole Campbell (SA) – Sarah Dargan (WA) – Ashlee Gould (NW) – Isobel Kuiper (ST) – Katelyn Pope (NA) – Chloe Scheer (CD)

EMG: Najwa Allen (NW) – Tahlita Buethke (SA) – Anastasia Falkenberg (WWT)

SANFL Women’s Round 9 wrap: Panthers break Norwood’s winning streak as Bays go outright second

SOUTH Adelaide’s beefed up team took down Norwood in the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Round 9, as Glenelg reaffirmed its spot inside the top two, and both West Adelaide and Sturt picked up wins.

NORWOOD 0.4 | 0.4 | 1.7 | 2.9 (21)
SOUTH ADELAIDE 0.1 | 2.2 | 3.2 | 4.3 (27)

South Adelaide has ended Norwood’s winning streak at seven, with a strong start helping the Panthers hold off the Redlegs by six points despite four less scoring shots. The visitors booted the first three goals of the game, albeit stretching to four minutes into the third term, and keeping the Redlegs to just four behinds. At that point the Panthers led by 16 points, and while the Redlegs booted 2.5 to the Panthers’ 1.1 for the remainder of the match, it would not be enough to overrun the visitors with South Adelaide winning 4.3 (27) to 2.9 (21).

With a host of talents returning to the side after AFL Women’s campaigns, Teah Charlton was the pick of the lot, racking up a competition-high 29 disposals, as well as seven marks, four tackles, six clearances, three inside 50s, four rebound 50s and a goal in the Panthers’ win. Lisa Whiteley (21 disposals, six marks and three rebound 50s), Jaslynne Smith (20 disposals, five tackles), Nicole Campbell (17 disposals, five marks and three inside 50s) and Gypsy Schirmer (14 disposals, three tackles and four rebound 50s) were also lively for the visitors.

Najwa Allen led all-comers for the Redlegs picking up 18 touches, four marks and four inside 50s in defeat, while Ashlee Gould had 13 disposals, four marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s. Also impressive were Erika Sporn (12 disposals, four marks – two contested – and four inside 50s, Sophie Armitstead (12 disposals, six tackles and four clearances) and Elisha Gallagher (14 disposals, six tackles).

GOALS:

Norwood: E. Sporn, R. Zerella.
South: S. Flanagan-Sjoberg, L. Buchanan, T. Charlton, J. Hickey.

DC BEST:

Norwood: A. Gould, N. Allen, E. Sporn, S. Armitstead, E. Gallagher
South: T. Charlton, L. Whiteley, J. Smith, N. Campbell, G. Schirmer

WWT EAGLES 1.0 | 1.0 | 3.1 | 3.1 (19)
STURT 0.1 | 5.2 | 5.4 | 9.8 (62)

Sturt has jumped off the bottom of the ladder with a dominant 43-point victory over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles to handover the cellar-dwelling spot to their opponents. After the Eagles booted the first goal of the game, the Double Blues piled on five consecutive goals in the space of eight minutes in the second term – including two to Alex Ballard – in a complete domination. Lakeesha Pickett kicked a couple for the Eagles in the third term to move to within 13 points at the final break, before the Double Blues again dominated in the last stanza, booting 4.4, including a second to Chloe Forby – against her old side – and third to Ballard for the 9.8 (62) to 3.1 (19) win.

Alisha Gepp won the most touches of any player with 20, as well as four tackles and three clearances, whilst Zoe Prowse had an impact up forward with 14 disposals, five tackles, 14 hitouts and seven inside 50s. Through the midfield, Jaimee Wittervan (19 disposals, seven tackles and seven clearances) and Isobel Kuiper (13 disposals, 12 tackles, five clearances and a goal) took control, and Jess Good had another 33 hitouts from seven touches. Up forward, Ballard had nine disposals and six marks to accompany her three goals.

Anastasia Falkenberg stood out for the Eagles with a team-high 18 touches and seven tackles, as well as two clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Sophie Zuill (16 disposals, five tackles and seven clearances), Mikayla Cavallaro (13 disposals, three marks, five tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s) and Jamie Parish (10 disposals, four marks, four tackles and five rebounds) were others who stepped up despite the loss.

GOALS:

Eagles: L. Pickett 2, P. Pipinis.
Sturt: A. Ballard 3, C. Forby 2, Z. Prowse, I. Kuiper, A. Pengelly.

DC BEST:

Eagles: A. Falkenberg, S. Zuill, M. Cavallaro, J. Parish, S. Goody
Sturt: Z. Prowse, J. Wittervan, I. Kuiper. Z. Prowse, A. Ballard

NORTH ADELAIDE 0.3 | 0.3 | 3.4 | 4.6 (30)
GLENELG 0.0 | 1.4 | 3.5 | 5.5 (35)

Glenelg has reaffirmed its status as a genuine premiership contender, overcoming reigning premiers North Adelaide by five points in a thrilling contest. Neither side could really apply too much scoreboard pressure in the opening half, with the Roosters scoring the only three behinds of the first term, then the Bays booting the next 1.5 before the second goal of the match was kicked. Just one point separated the teams at the final break after trading goals in a high-scoring term, before back-to-back majors to Meara Girvan in the fourth – finishing with three for the match – helped the visitors take a winning lead prior to a lead goal to Jaimi Tabb during the 5.5 (35) to 4.6 (30) performance.

Jessica Bates was again a dominant ball-winner with 24 touches, seven tackles, eight clearances, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s, while Caitlin Gould returned to the side and was outstanding, having 29 hitouts, 18 disposals, three marks – two contested – three tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s, as well as booting a goal. Tessa Kohn (18 disposals, seven clearances) and Madeleine Green (nine disposals, six clearances) were others who stood up in the clinches.

For the Roosters, Katelyn Pope had the team-high 19 disposals, as well as three marks, three clearances and two inside 50s, as Poppy Waterford (12 disposals, four tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and a goal) and Elaine Grigg (111 disposals, seven tackles and two inside 50s) won their fair share. In defence, Kristi Harvey (10 disposals, four rebound 50s) and Lauren Gauci (eight disposals, six marks, five tackles and four rebound 50s) were staunch.

GOALS:

North: P. Waterford, C. Farr, E. Greet, J. Tabb.
Glenelg: M. Girvan 3, C. Gould, J, Bates.

DC BEST:

North: K. Pope, P. Waterford, E. Grigg, K. Harvey, L. Gauci
Glenelg: C. Gould, J. Bates, T. Kohn, M. Green, C. Packer

WEST ADELAIDE 3.2 | 5.4 | 5.7 | 6.9 (45)
CENTRAL DISTRICT 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 5.3 (33)

Despite kicking three of the last four goals of the game, Central District has fallen short of a comeback against West Adelaide, with the Bloods saluting by 12 points at Hisense Stadium. West Adelaide raced out to an early lead, booting three first quarter goals, and by half-time were in control by 21 points. Neither team was able to make an impact on the scoreboard in the third term, and whilst the Bulldogs booted three goals to one in the final quarter, the Bloods had done enough to win, 6.9 (45) to 5.3 (33).

Ailish Considine led the way with a massive 25 disposals, four marks, three clearances, six inside 50s, four rebound 50s and 2.2 in an all-round best on ground performance. Young gun Lauren Young (18 disposals, four marks, six tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Sarah Dargan (19 disposals, three marks, five clearances, three tackles, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Zoe Venning (13 disposals, five tackles, six inside 50s and three clearances) followed suit in the midfield, while Chelsea Biddell had 13 touches, seven marks, seven hitouts and four inside 50s going through the ruck.

For Centrals, Shannon Murphy had a game-high seven rebound 50s from 12 disposals, four tackles and two clearances, while Chloe Scheer finished with the 12 disposals, eight marks – three contested – four tackles and three inside 50s. Also impressive for the losing side were Lauren Breguet (nine disposals, five tackles, three inside 50s and a goal), Karissa Searle (11 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s) and Madison Lane (11 disposals, four marks, two tackles and two rebound 50s).

GOALS:

West: A. Considine 2, M. Elsegood 2, C. Biddell, S. Griffiths.
Central: C. Scheer, L. Breguet, A. James, C. Reynolds, K. Rosenzweig.

DC BEST:

West: A. Considine, L. Young, C. Biddell, S. Dargan, Z. Venning
Central: S. Murphy, C. Scheer, L. Breguet, K. Searle, M. Lane

Picture credit: Cory Sutton / SANFL

2021 SANFL Women’s Round 9 preview: Panthers load up for clash with red-hot Redlegs

TWO late morning games and two evening games mark a huge Round 9 of action in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS vs. STURT
Saturday, May 1 @ 11:30am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Opening the round is unfairly a bottom two clash, with both Woodville-West Torrens and Sturt both playing pretty well this season. The Eagles’ percentage is quite low as the lowest scoring team, though they are just a win outside the eight. A victory here and results going the right way, and the Eagles would be fifth, but the same could be said for the Double Blues, who a fortnight ago showed they could score, and have been their reliable selves defensively to boast the best percentage in the bottom four, but are a point behind the two teams above them. From a State Academy perspective, Charlotte Dolan has proven to be able to play in multiple positions, having started at half-back, spent time on the wing, even gone inside and then played forward at the AFLW Under 19 Championships. Having been named on a forward flank again, the Eagles will be looking for her fierce intent to be a factor, particularly against Double Blues’ captain Maya Rigter. The other State Academy member to watch is Jamie Parish, with the versatile tall named on a wing for the second week in a row, but is more than capable of slotting in up forward or in defence. For future years, Shineah Goody is shaping as a classy prospect with plenty of versatility and an ability to create something out of nothing. For the Double Blues, the forward line is swarming with State Academy members, as Zoe Prowse has been named at full-forward with defenders-cum-forwards Hannah Prenzler and Alex Ballard either side of her, and Georgia Swan on a flank. It means a very exciting front 50 for the Double Blues, and the game could genuinely go either way.

NORWOOD vs. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, May 1 @ 11:30am
Coopers Stadium

Norwood has been dealt a blow ahead of its massive clash with South Adelaide, losing 50-gamer Leah Cutting to injury, whilst in-form Ella Murison is also out of the side. The Panthers have lost Lauren Clifton and Lucy Northcott among five changes, but have stacked their side with Jordann Hickey and Indy Tahau returning from Queensland, Teah Charlton and Hannah Munyard from AFL Women’s seasons completing, and Jess Kirk back in the side. Norwood has proven to accept any challenge thrown at the Redlegs, but without Cutting, Montana McKinnon and Soriah Moon will have the run of the mill around the ground. Jade Halfpenny is enjoying a terrific season for the Redlegs, playing through the midfield and rotating forward, while Sarah Branford had one of her best games of the season last week. Lana Schwerdt has been impressing as another young talent coming through, whilst Jess Macolino, Sophie Armitstead and Morgan Johnston have been consistently amongst the best. Even outside the changes, the Panthers have a lineup that is ready to shoot up the ladder, as AFL Women’s Academy talent Gypsy Schirmer has been named at half-back, and Tahlita Buethke in the middle coming off her best game last round. Nicole Campbell and Cheyenne Hammond are completing a star-studded midfield, whilst future key forward talent Jorja Hooper is in great form as well. The Panthers have bulked up and would be favourites to break the Redlegs seven-game winning streak, but if Norwood can beat this Panthers outfit without Cutting, then they are the clear premiership favourites.

NORTH ADELAIDE vs. GLENELG
Saturday, May 1 @ 4:10pm
Prospect Oval

North Adelaide and Glenelg are both starting to filter their AFL Womens’ talent back, with Amber Ward and Ash Woodland (North) and Caitlin Gould (Glenelg) all returning. The teams have opted not to unleash midfield guns Anne Hatchard (North) and Ebony Marinoff (Glenelg) just yet, though up-and-comer Piper Window has returned for the Bays with Lucy Armitage a key out for the visitors at Prospect Park. North Adelaide got back on the winners list last week to sit third, tantalisingly just behind the second placed Bays. With Ward back to provide support for Kristi Harvey, the Roosters defence is starting to look impenetrable again. Last year’s leading goalkicker Woodland will only be better for the AFLW experience, as Katelyn Pope has already been back in the side. Young guns Kate Case, Julia Clark and bottom-ager Amelie Borg have all been named in the side, with interest around where Borg will play based on the return of Ward to the key defensive post. Kelly Barltrop, Kathryn Reynolds and Tayla Thorn are a damaging trio up front, with Brianna Arthur also in form rolling through the midfield. For the Bays, Brooke Tonon has put together a fantastic season in multiple positions, but came off half-back last week, with Tessa Kohn, Ellie Kellock and Jessica Bates all having racked up the ball and taken control of the midfield. It will be a tough ask against a strong Roosters outfit, though with Gould named at full-forward, the Bays midfield will have a tall target to kick to. Tamsyn Morriss is the other State Academy member who has been named on the bench, but expect her to rotate through the defence in what should be a cracking contest.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, May 1 @ 5:10pm
Hisense Stadium

The final game of the round pits two exciting young teams up against each other, with the fourth placed Central District taking on the sixth placed West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium, Both teams have State Academy members returning, with Scarlett Griffiths at West Adelaide, and Laitiah Huynh at Centrals coming back into their respective lineups. Louella McCarthy (West) and Alicia Butler (Central) are another couple of key inclusions for the respective sides, with AFLW talent and youngsters across the park. From a young gun perspective, West Adelaide’s Lauren Young will continue her outstanding debut season, teaming up with AFL Women’s talents Sarah Dargan and Ailish Considine in the midfield. Chelsea Biddell and Melanie Elsegood are named as the key forwards, with State Academy members, Zoe Venning and Abbie Ballard inside 50. Venning will have the freedom to roll through the midfield but also be a leading target up forward, whilst Ballard is in her second game back from long-term injury. For the Bulldogs, Huynh slots straight back into half-forward, joining forces with fellow State Academy member Lauren Breguet inside 50, while up the other end, Madison Lane has been named off a half-back flank. Nicole Mark has had an impact since crossing from South Adelaide, and the key forward pairing of Katelyn Rosenzweig and Chantel Reynolds has proven to be effective, while Caitlen Teague, Shelby Smith and Lauren Smith have worked well with in-form ruck Isabelle Starmer. Chloe Scheer returning to the side last week proved a masterstroke, with the AFL Women’s talent starring in a best on ground performance. This has all the hallmarks of being a cracking contest.

Picture credit: On The Ball Media